two hands, one holding a bottle of Guinness Draught and one holding a bottle of Guinness Extra

When you order a pint of Guinness, draught stout is probably what you’re asking for. However, Guinness Extra Stout is the closest to the ‘original’ Guinness that you can get. The actual original isn’t currently available anymore, as Extra Stout replaced it to be more drinkable and appealing to a larger market. So, what is the difference between these two flagship beers? In a nutshell; 

Extra Stout is a more complex beer that is hop-forward and relatively bitter, with a lighter mouthfeel and a strong roasted aroma. Draught is sweeter and creamier, with a much lighter aroma of chocolate and coffee. 

If you’re looking for a more comprehensive and detailed description of the appearance, aroma, flavor, and mouthfeel of these beers, you’ll find these below. We’ll also have a look at how these two beers differ in calorie count, amount of carbs, and price.

Keep in mind that Guinness Draught from a can and a bottle are different. It’s the same liquid, but the cans have a widget that releases nitrogen when opened, which means it is most similar to what you would get from a keg. The bottle does not and is carbonated using CO2, which results in a different aroma, mouthfeel, and taste. In this article, we’ll tell you the difference between Extra stout vs. Draught from a can and a bottle. This way, you can make the most informed decision on what you’d like to drink. 

The Numbers

Let’s start with comparing labels and seeing how the numbers differ. 
Guinness Draught has 125 calories per 12 fl. oz, which means there are about 117 calories in a bottle and 155 in a can. Extra stout has about 169 calories per 12 fl. oz, which means there are 158 calories in a bottle and 270 in a can. 

Keep in mind that Extra Stout comes in cans of 19.2 fl oz (567 ml) whereas the cans of Draught are 14.9 fl. oz (440 ml). The bottles are both 331 ml. Still, it’s clear that Guinness Draught is the winner here, with a much lower calorie count.

This isn’t just in comparison to Extra Stout. Other stouts are generally higher in calories too. For example, Black Rock Irish Stout has 153 calories, Porterhouse Oyster Stout has 139, and Carlow O’hara’s Irish Stout has 130 calories per 12 fl. oz. 

In terms of carb count, Guinness draught has 9.4 grams of carbs per 12 fl. oz (8.7g for a bottle and 11.7g for a can). Guinness Extra stout has 13.9 grams per 12 fl. oz (13g per bottle and 22g per can). Again, Guinness draught is the winner here. 

However, this is to be expected, considering Draught has an ABV of 4.2%, whereas Extra Stout has 5.6%, although it could be up to 7% in countries outside of the US.  Extra Stout also has about 1 gram of calcium per pint, which is a nice bonus. 

In terms of price, Target sells the cans in 4-packs, for $8.99. This is 59.6 fl. oz total. 

For the bottles, they sell a 12-pack for $15.99. This is 134.4 fl. oz total. 

Extra stout is sold in bottles, a six-pack sells for $9.99. This is 67.2 fl. oz. 

Unfortunately, Target (and many other retailers) does not sell Extra Stout in cans. However, you can order them from Drizly, where one can is $3.32.

Per fl oz, you pay about $0.15 if you buy the bottles and about $0.11 if you get the cans. For the bottles of Extra Stout, the price is also about $0.15. If you get the can, you pay $0.17.

Appearance

Let’s start by looking at the difference in appearance. 

When first poured out, Guinness Extra Stout has a beautiful dark color with a thick foam head. When held up to the light, this stout has a ruby red hue. 


The Guinness Draught from a can has the same thick and creamy head, which is to be expected from an Irish stout, and the same ruby-red color, too. As a result, it seems difficult to differentiate between Extra Stout and Draught from a can at first glance. 

However, Draught from the bottle clearly looks different. The color is the same, but there is hardly any head. This is because this beer is carbonated using CO2, which produces larger bubbles which take away from the creaminess, and instead makes it fizzier. 

Aroma

The aroma between these two (or three, considering the can and bottled version of Draught, are so different) is distinct too.

Guinness Extra Stout is known for being more hop-forward, which is exactly what you’ll smell from this beer. There is a slight fruitiness, but because of the barley, there is a strong roasted aroma too. Other notes are chocolate, molasses, and nuts. 

For Draught, the experience is, again, very different depending on the vessel. The larger head and nitrogen carbonation from the can also inhibit some of the aromas. It acts as a barrier, resulting in only slight hints of roasted barley and perhaps some egg whites. 

However, from a bottle, you’ll smell more chocolaty, roasted aromas with a hint of coffee. Really, the bottled version gives you an amplified Guinness aroma. 

Overall, Extra Stout seems to be the most complex in terms of aroma. 

Taste

Moving on to the taste, this is where we find some very distinct differences. As said, Extra Stout is much more hop-forward, which also results in a stronger bitterness. Still, it is well balanced, with a crisp finish. Apart from the aromas, there is also a hint of caramel coming through. 

Bottled Guinness Draught is the most similar to Extra Stout. It also has a more present hop flavor, with less of the roasted barley coming through that you’d normally associate with this beer. In reality, it is more like a well-balanced, regular dark ale.
The canned version has a much more straightforward roasted flavor, with less bitterness. 

Mouthfeel

Lastly, we’ll see how the mouthfeel differs between these two. 

Guinness Draught from a can has the distinct creamy and smooth mouthfeel that we have come to associate with Guinness. It is thick and luxurious as a result of the smaller bubbles generated by the nitro. 

Bottled Guinness Draught and Extra Stout have very similar mouthfeel. They are both still stouts and are conditioned with CO2. This means they are crisper and fizzier too. They are more like a lager rather than the smooth Guinness Stout.  

In Conclusion

Whichever stout you prefer entirely depends on what you’re looking for. If you want a more complex beer with more hoppiness and stronger aromas, Guinness Extra Stout is probably the one for you. However, if you’re in the market for a slightly sweeter and creamier beer, go for Guinness Draught instead. We’d recommend getting in from a can, though, so you get the experience closest to what you’d get from an Irish pub. 

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